Employment income - definition of mobile phone (treatment of smartphones): HMRC has changed its view as to what devices are now treated as a mobile phone for the purposes of s319 ITEPA 2003.

According to Revenue & Customs brief 02/12, "Personal Digital Assistants" - PDAs or "smart phones" are now to be treated by employers as mobile phones, rather than computers. This means that devices such as:

  • Blackberry types - also designed to transmit and receive emails
  • Touch phone types - also designed for web browsing, sharing photos and holding music

Are all treated as mobile phones. There is no employment benefit if an employer provides one per household.

  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • Sat navs

Are not treated as mobile phones and so these may be provided if used by employees in the performance of their employment duties and any private use is minimal.

See Employer guide: mobile phones & devices